5 Important Roles of Community in Fostering Creativity

Ask yourself, “what does community mean to you?”

Does it mean a sense of unity or belonging? Or maybe you think of community as a diverse group of people working towards a common goal or sharing a common interest?

Now ask yourself, “what does creativity mean to me?”

Does it mean bringing an idea to life, or do you think of inspiration, exploration, or collaboration?

Much of how we perceive creativity can be nurtured in a community setting. With the backbone of a community, an idea can be brought to life. With the network in a community, one can collaborate and explore. Through diverse interactions, unity can be instilled, and people can be inspired. Here you can explore how the role of community is relevant in creativity.

The Results of Amalgamation

An engineer is as much a creative as an artist, just as an architect is as much a creative as a writer. However, it is when these creatives collaborate within a community that we see ideas manifest. This concept of combining people with different backgrounds is so simple to achieve in a community, yet it is considered groundbreaking by universities and companies. ICAT is a program at College of Charleston in which liberal arts students pursuing different disciplines are placed on an entrepreneurship team and given 12 weeks to pitch an idea to investors for a grand prize of $10,000. Though such rewards can’t be provided in each community, the foundation of the program can be. Whether at your university, on an online platform, or at your local bookstore, find a community you consider fitting and exploit your niche.  

Push for Change

Communities have the power to stir change through creative dialogue and expression. A community has this power because the communities often go beyond achieving the greater good for the individual, and instead pursue change and progression for the group. When people come together to make art, to debate and to create, issues are in turn, solved. These communities consist of tech groups like Google Ideas, made up of techies that challenge global security problems to make the world a safer place. They consist of marginalized groups like The First Peoples Group, made up of native and indigenous artists and cultural bearers. They also consist of local youth-led groups like the Youth Art & Self Empowerment Program in Philadelphia, made up by young incarcerated youth in Philadelphia’s prisons to empower them to express themselves creatively to aid in keeping the youth out of adult prisons in the future. Creativity helps push social interest, and social change can be made with the support of a community.

Nature…

As humans, we are all inherently creative. Yet, creativity comes to certain individuals more naturally than it does to others. Those natural-born creatives can benefit from a community by receiving feedback and constructive criticism to perfect their craft. If they aren’t keen on perfecting their craft based on the opinions of others, they can increase their following and spread their work through their community. Similarly, a community provides the setting to get creative work done because whether you are a natural-born creative or not, you will need to put work in to reap results.

…Versus Nurture

What encourages creativity is dedication, hard work, meaningful criticism and a bit of luck; a tight-knit community can provide people with that. A community provides opportunity by offering resources, both material and mental. Mentally, a community proves stability, the freedom of speech and expression, and the connection to aid one another in completing a goal. Certain communities have the benefit of providing material resources that can push creativity, such as computers or supplies. Albert Einstein said, “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” A thriving community provides an atmosphere of freedom.

Sustainable Development

Creativity can be used to the push towards sustainable political, social and environmental development in business communities, in activist communities, and local communities. In order to develop a consciousness about sustainable development, movements have been created through art and film by communities. Creativity and culture within a community may not establish monetary gains in terms of sustainable development, but they initiate and enable sustainable development. Such sustainable development will improve the relationships within the communities and with the greater community that is the world.

If you are seeking out a creative community, join ours!  

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Cassidy Armbruster

Cassidy is a writer and content marketer living in Madrid, Spain with a degree in International Relations and a Master of Science in Marketing and Digital Media. Cassidy is a travel enthusiast, and she is always up for a game of soccer. You can reach her via LinkedIn.